Sandwiches were probably invented by the Romans in the first century. These were people on the move who didn’t have time to schedule their slaves’ workday, catch a gladiator match and eat their meat and bread separately all before an afternoon siesta. It was only logical to combine some of their efforts.
Like many of the Romans’ extraordinary feats in architecture and science, the sandwich has survived the test of time. To appreciate a sandwich is to appreciate human reason, art, science and beauty. Here are my three favorite ways to do just that around our modern-day Roman metropolis.
3. Grilled Italian – Capriotti’s
I didn’t want to put a chain restaurant on this list, but I’m working with the best sandwiches here, and I can’t argue with science. Capriotti’s makes a damn good sandwich. I’m not proud to say I’ve tried almost all of them and concluded the Grilled Italian is the best.
This is a manwich. Not because ladies can’t eat it, but because only men are dumb enough to eat that many calories in one sitting. The nine to 20-inch sub features a whole bunch of hot Italian meats rolled in some grilled white bread. I accessorize with spicy veggies to add heat. Go with a 12 inch and you won’t have to eat again for a few days. It’s an investment in your future.
Capriotti’s is on the corner of N. Sierra and W. 8th Street. They are great at wrapping up your sandwich (an underrated skill), so take your sub home, and get after it with the maximum space of your kitchen table.
2. Caprese Melt – Gourmelt
Remember those lazy days at home when you would come inside from shooting hoops or you’d come downstairs after finding the perfect MySpace profile song to describe your mood, and you’d say “Mom, what’s for lunch?” and she’d say “You know where the pantry is.”
Then, you would remind her she never taught you how to cook, and you’ve already had a shocking amount of frozen corn dogs that weekend. She would roll her eyes, and slap some butter and cheese together on two pieces of bread. In a brisk five minutes, you’d have a beautiful sandwich with just the right amount of chips on the side.
Gourmelt is like this except they are way better at making a grilled cheese than your mom. The Caprese Melt is mozzarella cheese with tomato and balsamic vinegar in between sourdough bread with garlic parmesan crust. It is exquisite. I’d recommend the parmesan garlic fries on the side.
The cozy grilled cheese shop is located on University Dr. sandwiched between a bunch of apartments. It is owned by the same two chicks who own Two Chicks. It’s walking distance from campus, so it’s a great lunch spot in between classes. They’re also on Uber Eats if you’re having a lazy day and still don’t know how to cook.
1. Michael’s Original Sandwich – Michael’s Deli
What a sandwich.
I usually don’t stray too far from the “meat and cheese between bread” variety of sandwiches when I try someplace new, so when I ordered a turkey, pesto, dill Havarti cheese, lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes and oil and vinegar sandwich, I was kind of out of my element. Boy, was I happy I did that.
Mark Twain once wrote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. “Explore. Dream. Discover.” Twenty years from now I will remember the day I let loose and discovered the Michael’s Original.
Michael’s Deli is on S. Virginia across from the Wild Orchid. It’s a popular power lunch spot for downtowners, so consider bringing your networking game if you’re in the market for a job. If you’re just in the market for a kick-ass sandwich, this is your place.
Ryan Suppe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @salsuppe.